Israeli bioscience training firm chooses Ohio to launch U.S. expansion
Israel’s BioForum Applied Knowledge Center has launched the U.S. expansion of their bioscience training and education programs in Beachwood, Ohio. The company’s Ohio location is complemented by a collaboration agreement with BioOhio, the state’s bioscience development and membership organization.
BioForum provides training and education programs for the pharmaceutical, chemical, biotech and medical device industries, offering over 350 training courses and seminars to biomedical regulators, manufacturers and developers. The company’s location in the Beachwood Business Development Center will serve as an applied education and training center for biomedical industry professionals.
BioForum signed an office space agreement in mid-June, when representatives from the Beachwood Chamber of Commerce, BioOhio, State of Ohio, City of Beachwood, TeamNEO, City of Akron, and the Global Cardiovascular Innovation Center attended a biomedical conference in Tel Aviv, Israel.
According to BioForum CEO Amir Malka, BioForum hired their first Ohio employee last week and plan to add a second associate by the end of August. He expects to hire between four and eight employees over the next three years.
BioForum began operations in Israel in 1998 and currently has 26 full-time employees at its offices in the Weizmann Science Park in Rehovot, Israel.
In addition to finding a location to launch BioForum’s services in the U.S., Malka also found an organization in Ohio to help connect with potential clients and partners. While in Israel last month, BioOhio Business Development Director Scott Osborne visited BioForum’s Rehovot headquarters to sign a collaboration agreement and welcome BioForum as a new BioOhio member.
Initially BioOhio will connect BioForum to bioscience firms with whom they will conduct their foundational training needs assessments. These assessments will shape BioForum’s U.S. seminar offerings. BioForum also has asked BioOhio to identify experts to lead seminars and training courses, which will include discounted prices for fellow BioOhio members.
“BioForum’s goals are aligned with the goals of BioOhio and those of the State of Ohio in strengthening and developing the biomedical workforce in the state,” Osborne said. “Enhancing the expertise and skill sets of Ohio’s workforce is a prominent factor in growing and attracting bioscience businesses from around the world.”
Since May, six companies have announced plans to establish offices in Ohio, five of which are from Israel in addition to BioForum. Three Israeli heart companies—Cardiostar Ltd., Sensible Medical Innovations Ltd. and Vasostar Ltd.—will develop their products in Ohio as part of new investments from the Global Cardiovascular Innovation Center in Cleveland. Founded in Israel, CMRlinx recently chose Columbus to market and continue development of its electronic medical records solutions. Theravasc, a pharmaceutical start-up focused on cardiovascular disease, announced in June its plans to move from Louisiana to Cleveland and start clinical trials on at least one drug this fall.
According to BioOhio Vice President John F. Lewis Jr., this is a continuation of a trend that has not been sidetracked by the economic downturn. “Within the last 3 years, BioOhio is now counting at least 40 bioscience-related companies that have established a new facility in Ohio after consideration of various sites around the world,” he said. “Ten already in 2009.”
BioOhio represents and promotes the robust bioscience industry in Ohio, home to over 1,500 bioscience-related organizations, from innovative start-ups supported by biotech incubators to some of the largest corporations in the world. Most of BioOhio’s efforts are concentrated in four strategic areas: company and capital formation; asset-based company and partnership attraction; workforce development and deployment; and community and awareness development.